Trump tells newspaper Obama aide might have broken the law

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06 April, 2017

Experts say the standard required to ask for a name to be unmasked is easy to meet, meaning it's unlikely Rice did not follow the rules if intelligence officials ultimately granted her requests.

National Security Adviser Susan Rice, at the White House in Washington, July 22, 2015. Americans don't want their government to use its awesome powers to play Big Brother.

Rice said Tuesday that any allegations that she improperly sought the names of Trump associates and leaked intelligence information was "absolutely false". Nunes has provided limited details about the information he obtained, but said there are "dozens of reports" showing that "incidentally collected information about US citizens involved in the Trump transition" was gathered during the course of "normal foreign surveillance".

Rice, in an interview with MSNBC, acknowledged that she sometimes asked for the names of Americans referenced in reports.

Some reports said that Rice did request a review and receive names, but she adamantly denied leaking any names, saying that this would have constituted releasing classified information. Current and former intelligence officials from both Republican and Democratic administrations have said that nothing they have seen led them to believe that Rice's actions were unusual or unlawful.

"The notion that, which some people are trying to suggest, that by asking for the identity of an American person that is the same as leaking it, is completely false", Rice said.

"Trump is emphatically not to be trusted", we wrote last month when the president made his initial claim.

"Susan Rice is the Typhoid Mary of the Obama administration foreign policy", Cotton said on the Hugh Hewitt radio show.

KEITH: And I don't think that we should take everything that she says at face value. If there had been a real need to reveal the identities - an intelligence need based on American interests - the unmasking would have been done by the investigating agencies.

Rice's "unmasking" request a year ago and recent comments on her role in the surveillance efforts have placed her at the center of the wiretapping controversy in recent days.

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But there are some likely explanations for why Rice would have been briefed on intelligence involving the incoming administration. That comes back to me, not to anybody broadly in the national security world, and that is necessary for me to do my job.

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"I think he shouldn't have settled; personally I think he shouldn't have settled", said Trump. When Rice made her request, there were ongoing investigations of Russia's involvement in the election, of the role Trump advisers might have played in this involvement, and of efforts by some of these advisers to undermine US foreign policy, specifically on sanctions toward Russian Federation. After the Benghazi massacre, which left four Americans, including a USA ambassador, dead, Rice was paraded around the TV shows.

Ms. Rice, who also served as the Obama administration's United Nations ambassador, has a reputation across Washington as tough, combative figure.

It's hardly out of the ordinary for a White House official like Rice, with high security clearances, to request unmasking. A request by the president's national security adviser would typically be approved. That is when two sources in the intelligence community came to him and told him who was responsible and at least, according to Fox, one of the names of those who were unmasked.

The Times adds that when specifically asked if Rice's behavior constituted a crime, Trump answered "Do I think?".

As a procedural matter, an intelligence briefer would have had to clear a requested unmasking with the head of the agency providing the intelligence.

In the case of this controversy, Rep.

A source also told ABC News that on one occasion Rice requested the unmasking of Trump transition officials in a foreign intelligence report that had nothing to do with Russian Federation.

President Trump retweeted a story on Monday from the Drudge Report called "Rice Ordered Spy Docs on Trump?"

A handful of GOP lawmakers say that the House Intelligence Committee should investigate former Obama administration national security adviser Susan Rice's reported decision to unmask USA citizens caught up in intelligence gathering.

"Incidentally", eh? That is, the spooks were looking for something else and the names of people associated with Donald Trump's campaign or transition just happened to be mentioned along the way, en passant.


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